Coca-Cola settles with London band over video similarities

LONDON - Coca-Cola has reached an out of court settlement with unsigned London band 7 Seconds of Love, after the group accused the soft drinks giant of using 'substantially similar material' from its 'Ninja' song and video in an Argentinean ad for Coca-Cola Light.

The settlement, which was brokered by intellectual property firm Olswang, means Coca-Cola will avoid an expensive court action for use of the "material" in a Coca-Cola Light ad that screened in Argentina last year.

Joel Veitch, lead singer of 7 Seconds of Love and animator of the 'Ninja' video, was first made aware of the similarities between the Coca-Cola ad, which was also posted on YouTube, when South American fans contacted him about its resemblances to 'Ninja'.

The Coca-Cola ad, which was produced by Argentine ad agency Santo Buenos Aries, featured cats bouncing around in Ninja suits, and Veitch said it was similar in execution to his band's video for 'Ninja', which had dancing cats dressed as Ninjas and children.

Michael Burdon, head of intellectual property at Olswang, said: "The band was in a strong position because it owns various forms of intellectual property for the 'Ninja' song and video.

"This dispute clearly demonstrates the international nature of international property rights and enforcement. The band may never have known about the ad in Argentina if it had not been for the internet."

Veitch, who has animation credits for 'Johnny Vegas: 18 Stone of Idiot' and Virgin Trains, also owns social media site RatherGood.com.

Coca-Cola has agreed to no longer air the ad, and it is understood that 7 Seconds of Love intends to donate the money received from the drinks company to charity.

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